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Field Trips

Field Trip, Sunday, September 10, 2017: Big Woods, Hueston Woods State Park

The Big Woods area of Hueston Woods State Park is a tiny remnant of the beech-maple forest that once stretched in a broad band from southwestern Ohio to its northeastern corner. This forest type is dominated by the ghostly gray trunks of beech trees along with varying proportions of sugar maple, red and white oaks, and white ash. A map of Hueston Woods can be found at https://parks.ohiodnr.gov/Portals/parks/PDFs/parks/Maps/Hueston_Woods/huestonwoodsparkmap.pdf. Horticulturist Dick Munson will lead us on a visit to this old grown forest within Hueston Woods. The group will meet at 8:30 a.m. at the Big Woods Parking Area (straight ahead from the Brown Road park entrance). The guided walk will conclude by around noon. Pack a lunch if desired and bring binoculars if possible.

 

Field Trip, Saturday, October 14, 2017: Rentschler Forest MetroPark

With almost 400 acres, the Rentschler Forest MetroPark includes about a half-mile of frontage along the Great Miami River, acres of woodland, remnants of the old Miami-Erie Canal, a prehistoric Indian earthwork, and a reconstructed wetland. Situated off of Route 4 just east of Hamilton, Rentschler is just a 40-minute drive from Oxford. A map of the park can be found at http://www.yourmetroparks.net/rentschler-map.pdf. Expert naturalist Sam Fitton will lead our walk, helping us to locate and identify late migrants and other wildlife.The trip will leave at 8:00 a.m. from the TJ Maxx parking lot (on Locust Street across from McDonald’s) and return to Oxford in the afternoon. Pack a lunch if desired and bring binoculars if possible.

 

Field Trip, Saturday, November 11, 2017: Marianist Env. Educ. Center

The Marianist Environmental Education Center (MEEC) is an environmental education community in the Catholic tradition. In Mary’s hope-filled spirit, the Center preserves and acts in communion with the land and educates other communities in sustainability through ecology-based simple living, social justice and spirituality. The Mount St. John Nature Preserve covers more than 100 acres of oak-hickory woodland, natural and created wetlands, Eastern tallgrass prairie, and meadow. The front field lies in the floodplain of the Little Beaver Creek, and the trail to the woods crests a glacial esker that is one of the highest points in Greene County. This diversity supports an impressive variety of plant and animal life, including an estimated 425 plant species, nearly 60 butterflies and more than 100 birds. In 1912 the Marianist brothers built a new novitiate, St. Anne’s, on this site, and they farmed the land until the mid-1960s. In 1985, Interstate 675 cut across the old farm, and 75,000m3 of sand and gravel was excavated from a large borrow pit for the new highway’s substrate. Bro. Don Geiger, SM, Professor Emeritus of Biology at the University of Dayton, led the restoration effort on the site that now bears his name. The Eastern Tall grass prairie, with it powerful root system, succeeded in colonizing the barren ground. Today, the prairie is one of our region’s most successful restored prairies, home to a variety of grasses and forbs, wet seeps and a pond. A complete trail guide to the Nature Preserve can be found at https://meec.center/files/attachments/section/Nature_Trail_Guide.pdf. Our visit to this remarkable site will be hosted by Tara Poling, Program Coordinator at MEEC, who will meet us there around 9:00 a.m. The trip will leave at 7:30 a.m. from the TJ Maxx parking lot (on Locust Street across from McDonald’s) and return to Oxford in the afternoon. Pack a picnic lunch and bring binoculars if possible.

 

Field Trip, Saturday, December 9, 2017: Brookville Lake Area

Ornithologist Dr. David Russell will again lead us on a birding tour of the Brookville Reservoir area between Liberty and Brookville, Indiana. We’ll visit a number of good spots around Brookville Lake as well as Whitewater State Park, looking for migrating ducks, geese, gulls, sandhill cranes and other species. A map of the area can be found at http://www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/files/brookville_trail.pdf. The group will meet at 7:30 a.m. at the west end of the Wal Mart parking lot (on US 27, north of Oxford). Pack a lunch if desired and bring binoculars if possible.

 

For instructions on meeting a trip at the trip site, or information on last-minute changes, consult the site or send an e-mail to the trip coordinator at jmichael@amvohio.org.

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